Mark Higginson

How attention flows on the web


31 December 2014

Digital is about reproducing something so it’s exact. Media is about making something original.

Michael Wolff on digital media in 2015: ‘A deluge of crap’

The whole article I’ve taken the above quote from is great.

“BuzzFeed is a tech company. One which is wholly focused on aggregrating a mass audience. It has no other value beyond that.”

I’d disagree that Buzzfeed have a mass ‘audience’ however. They have massive ‘traffic’ in the ephemeral sense of visitors coming and going but I wonder if this is an audience in the sense of people deliberately choosing Buzzfeed as a source of entertainment rather than just a place they end up on from a shared link.

Buzzfeed’s visitors will be distributed on a very long tail so the usefulness to marketers to get their messages to people is minimal. However, it suits Buzzfeed that the industry thinks otherwise. Their content machine is a very hungry beast that needs constant feeding; if marketers pay to help it grow then this is to Buzzfeed’s advantage.

On ‘Vice’:

“Their entire effort is to literally get themselves a cable channel. They’ve played an interesting game: They created a brand. They’re not a tech company. They’re a real, traditional media company.”

Again, I wonder if this is sustainable? They’ll have to keep the cost of producing original stories in check while the complexity of what they are doing increases.

Let me know what you think on Twitter